Pakistan’s key bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of Asia Cup 2022 squad following his injury. He has been advised six weeks rest by the medical panel to fully heal the knee injury the bowler sustained during last month’s Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Without a shadow of a doubt, it is a heavy blow to Pakistan Cricket Team to miss on their left-arm pacer, who is the team’s frontline bowler in every format. The bowling line-up is now entirely inexperienced, and the board is looking for a perfect replacement.
🚨 Just in: Shaheen Shah Afridi will miss the upcoming Asia Cup due to a knee injury pic.twitter.com/n2NIdDqxNr
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 20, 2022
If the reports revolving are true, Mir Hamza, another left-hander, is likely to replace him in Pakistan’s Asia Cup 2022 squad. Also, the PCB might risk with out-of-form Hasan Ali with not much variety of bowling options available.
PCB might look for non performing Hassan Ali as Shaheen's replacement but they should considered the advantage of left arm angle of Shaheen Afridi which has always been benificial against Indian top order and recently @mirhamza_k is the only left arm pacer who has done well. pic.twitter.com/CAOGIXJkL7
— Shahzaib Ali 🇵🇰 (@DSBcricket) August 20, 2022
PCB Chief Medical Officer, Dr Najeebullah Soomro narrated that,
“I have spoken with Shaheen and he is understandably upset with the news, but he is brave young man who has vowed to come back strongly to serve his country and team. Although he has made progress during his rehabilitation in Rotterdam, it is now clear he will require more time and is likely to return to competitive cricket in October.
“PCB’s Sports & Exercise Medicine Department will be working closely with the player over the coming weeks to ensure his safe return to competitive cricket.”
It must be noted that Shaheen has also been eliminated from the upcoming seven-match T20I series at home versus England due to take place in September. Before Pakistan’s departure to the Netherlands, captain Babar Azam conducted a conference in which he announced Shaheen’s unavailability from the first two Pak vs NED ODIs.
He also mentioned that Shaheen would ‘hopefully’ be available for Asia Cup alongside getting at least the final Pak vs NED ODI.